Pakistan-China projects worth $14bn in pipeline: envoy

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan Sunday said Pakistan and China would execute 36 projects worth $14 billion during next five years under bilateral Five Year Development Programme for Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of Pak-China Business Forum, he said the first five year programme has been completed and the second is about to start this year that would be run by a ministerial level Joint Economic Commission and Economic Cooperation Group.

The four-day event was held here by COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in collaboration with Xuzhou Normal University China.

He said the Joint Energy Working Group, established last year, will oversee development and implementation of hydro, thermal, geo-thermal, coal-fired, solar, wind, biomass, and civil nuclear power projects.

The ambassador said the CIIT was the pioneer institution in Pakistan creating an interface between academia, businesses and government to promote Pakistan-China economic relations.

For a better understanding among people from both countries, the ambassador suggested establishment of Pakistan-China centers in all key Pakistani universities.

“Some have already moved in that direction. In China, Pakistan Study Centers are housed in four prestigious universities including Peking, Tsinghua, Sichuan, and Fudan,” Masood Khan said.

He said there is a strong aspiration between both the countries for exchange of youth as hundreds of young students and professionals were exchanging visits “but the figure should move into thousands and then into millions.”

“Establishment of a Pakistan-China Young Entrepreneurs Forum will be a good initiative in this context,” he suggested.

The ambassador said Pakistan’s business ties with China would be as robust as strategic partnership.

But, he said the relationship of two countries will continue to flourish with full vigour if we ensure fusion of all the three pillars of our relations – strategic, economic and people to people exchanges.

He said platforms like Pak-China Business Forums prove to be beneficial for the businessmen who seek guidance as how to do business with China and vise-versa.

He said Pakistan provides the best protection for Chinese workers and businesses and the country would not lower its guard.

“In five years time, we will see a different world. Pakistani nation will overcome its current difficulties, realize its full economic potential and emerge as a regional business hub,” he hoped.

Khan stressed for collaboration between academia and industry as the universities provide the best nursery to the industrial sector.

He said with the passage of time, the leading entities have developed common platforms to enhance linkage with each other.

“But we should try to look even better. Here comes the role of educational institutes to help exploit maximum possible potential between the two countries,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to China.

The ambassador said Shanghai Cooperation Organization was fostering connectivity among the East, Central and South Asian neighborhoods and Pakistan, being an observer, hopes to be its member soon.

He said last year, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has opened branches in Islamabad and Karachi.

Moreover, in December 2011, the central banks of China and Pakistan have reached an agreement for currency swap to enable traders of Pakistan and China to use Pakistani Rupee and Chinese Renminbi for transactions and settlements.

“Both these steps would stimulate further growth in Pak-China trade ties,” Masood Khan added. (APP)

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